ExxonMobile wants you to know that what happened on BP’s oil gig was an anomaly. So says its new blog, Perspectives.
According to the post Addressing the Gulf of Mexico Spill, which was written by Ken Cohen, ExxonMobil’s VP of public and government affairs, it’s important to realize how much we need all that deep sea oil, and how infrequently these things actually blow up and wreck the planet. (And thanks, Mother Jones for pointing this out to me.)
Read the post. Basically, it’s ExxonMobile distancing itself from BP saying, in effect, we’re not like THEM. From the post: “What we do know is that when you properly design wells for the range of risk anticipated; follow established procedures; build in layers of redundancy; properly inspect and maintain equipment; train operators; conduct tests and drills; and focus on safe operations and risk management, tragic incidents like the one in the Gulf of Mexico today should not occur.”
Ummm. Okay, maybe your wells haven’t blown up lately, but what about that little blip called the Exxon Valdez? Remember? It’s that little boat accident that has gone down in history as one of the worst environmental disasters ever. You couldn’t have forgotten that already, could you? It was only 20-odd years ago!
That spill has something BIG in common with this spill — the fact that there was little outside oversight of what your company was doing, at least according to a 1990 report prepared and released by the State of Alaska. From that report, written by the Alaska Oil Spill Commission: “Industry’s insistence on regulating the Valdez tanker trade its own way, and government’s incremental accession to industry pressure, had produced a disastrous failure of the system.” Sounds vaguely familiar, no?
I’m sorry, Mr. Cohen. You’re wrong. Your company can’t distance itself from BP. You’re all in this together. As Alex Baldwin wrote in his June 7 Huffington Post op-ed, the oil industry along with the U.S. government is just plain wrong. “When it comes to the oil industry, we have no government,” he wrote. “We have just a bunch of drunken, thieving whores…”
Tonight there will be a prime-time Oval Office address. The president will hopefully give us some answers. Yesterday, he announced members of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, charged with “providing recommendations on how we can prevent – and mitigate the impact of – any future spills that result from offshore drilling.” I was especially excited to see that Frances Beinecke, the president of Natural Resources Defense Council is on this list. And yet that well is still leaking. And the oil industry is still yapping away. Wonder which one will stop spewing crap first.